Fear not: for am I in the place of God? As for you, ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good, … as it is this day, to save much people alive (Gen. 50:12, 20; read vv. 15–21).
This passage lends itself admirably to a sermon about “particular providence,” or about forgiveness of wrongs. Preach one or the other. Never two sermons at the same time! God’s providence here means his way of watching out for each of his children as well as though he had only one. A case study. A fascinating truth!
I. The Meaning of Individual Providence (pro-video). A. God has a plan for every man’s life. This plan he unfolds a part at a time. B. In carrying out his plan, God may employ strange agents and methods, as he did with Joseph. C. Sooner or later God will complete his plan. (See part of Browning’s “Rabbi Ben Ezra.”)
II. The Value of This Bible Teaching. What practical difference does it make to a believer now? A. This teaching gives the Christian a sense of stability and assurance. “How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord!” Such a man’s faith rests in God. B. The teaching should lead to magnanimity. Why did this man treat his older brothers in a way pleasing to God? C. The teaching also imparts a feeling of hope. Here see Bryant’s poem, “To a Waterfowl.” As in all these passages, keep to the singular. God has a plan for every man’s life.
In order that he may qualify for living on this basis, lead the hearer now to become a Christian. Later from the pulpit guide him in knowing how to learn and follow the will of God. “He that willeth to do his will shall know.”
Probing Outer Space
ROAMING THE PLANETS—The problem of mankind’s spiritual mandate to leave the earth and roam through outer space, exploring and perhaps ultimately populating ...1
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